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Last Updated on November 28, 2020 by Chris Panteli
Are you interested in how I managed to save £1378 in one year? Think about what you could do with that extra cash using this amazing money-saving method.
Perhaps you need cash for your new emergency fund?
Or you just love having extra money to do the things you love.
I started out on my journey to grow my wealth by exploring online trading, with some success, but nothing to shout home about.
Day trading is stressful, time-consuming, and something akin to gambling if you haven’t mastered the techniques. Whilst researching different trading styles, I came across a trade size allocation technique called the ‘Martingale’ strategy.
In essence, you make a trade at a given price. If you lose the trade, you double down on the next one. This pattern continues until you have recouped your losses, and made a profit.
As you can imagine, this is a pretty reckless way to trade.
Doubling down quickly becomes exorbitantly expensive and totally unsustainable.
After a few small losses, my trading days were behind me. However, I later wondered if this powerful growth with numbers could be applied to saving instead.
And so the Martingale Money Saving Method was born (well, a version of it anyway).
And as you’ve probably guessed, it worked.
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The Martingale Money-Saving Method
In the world of forex trading, the Martingale strategy is essentially a negative progression system. The theory is to recoup losses by increasing position size.
For example, you open a position with the potential profit/loss of $10 and consequently lose that trade. Therefore, the next trade is initiated with a potential profit/loss of $20, which again is lost. The next trade is opened with a potential profit/loss of $40 and it’s a winner.
In total, you have lost $10 from the first trade and $20 from the second, making a total loss of $30. The final trade is won at $40, covering the $30 loss and leaving a $10 profit.
In principle this is a wonderful idea, but do you know how much your position size would have to be with a string of just 10 losses?
An eye-watering $5120, just for a tiny amount of profit, but one hell of a lot of risk.
Power of Numbers
This got me thinking.
I have always been aware of the power of numbers when it comes to investing. Compounded interest truly is the mystical power behind growing wealth, and should be utilised within any and all investment strategies.
But this approach can also be harnessed for day to day savings. I’m not talking about your proper savings strategies, such as investments, high-interest accounts and pensions.
I’m talking about the extra cash you have after a visit to the pub (if you haven’t spent it all getting sloshed). The loose change from shopping trips and other bits and bobs you accumulate.
If you add some structure to the way in which you save these small amounts of cash, the rewards are magnificent.
It could pay for your annual holiday without you really noticing.
The Money-Saving Method
So as you have probably guessed already this method uses a progressive system whereby the amounts saved increase over time.
Unfortunately, we cannot simply double the amount at any given point, as the numbers grow far too quickly. Therefore, the Martingale approach in its truest form is not possible.
Instead, we simply start in week 1, by saving £1.
This is what I love about this method, it starts off so easy, and really lets you build-up to the last few weeks where it does get a little harder.
Next, week 2, save £2.
Week 3, you guessed it, £3.
This continues until the final week of the year where you save £52.
At the end of the year, you are left with a whopping £1378
The progressive nature of this money-saving method means the saving pot grows exponentially. Although, it is tougher towards the latter part of the year. However, if you time the start date right, it should be very doable.
Martingale Money Saving-Method in Numbers
Advantages of the Method
When it comes to money-saving there are usually a few stumbling blocks that need to be overcome. Firstly, it’s difficult to stick with whatever method you are using. Spending money is a hell of a lot easier than saving it.
The great thing about the Martingale Money Saving Method is the strict routine that must be followed. It forces you to save on a rigid schedule and allows for no deviation.
Secondly, because this method starts off extremely easy, it encourages the continuation of the saving. You will quickly become incentivised to see it through to the end once the savings pot increases in size.
Many savings methods start off unrealistically or become unsustainable over a long period of time. This can be disastrous for morale and motivation, and often causes an abrupt end to the plan.
Half-way through using this method you will have already amassed over £350.
Disadvantages of the Method
The hardest part of this money-saving method is the later part of the challenge. Depending on your earnings and disposable income, it can become quite challenging to save the required amount.
I managed to overcome this hurdle by adopting 2 additional strategies:
Christmas time is by far the most expensive part of the year for many people. If you were to begin the year-long money-saving method in January, then you will find the finale coincides with Christmas – nightmare.
To avoid this situation, I recommend commencing the money-saving method ideally in December. Or, failing that, anytime from June onward is a good plan.
This will ensure that the higher saving weeks do not occur around the Christmas period. No one wants to be hoarding cash from the Christmas kitty.
A reduction in spending is another great way to ensure you have the cash available to save during the later part of the challenge.
In the UK, the average smoker spends £128 each month, that’s approximately £30 a week. You could use this saving-method as an opportunity to quit the habit. The money saved from quitting will go a long way towards completing the £1378 challenge. There will also be an amazing improvement in your health and overall wellbeing. Something to think about.
Reducing alcohol consumption is another superb way to kill two birds with one stone. There will be significant health benefits, as well as extra cash for the savings pot. You could consider the Dry January challenge, and coincide it with the Martingale Money-Saving Method.
Dry January is the UK’s one-month booze-free challenge that takes place every year. Just listen to some of these wellbeing boosting and wallet pumping stats:
86% of participants saved money.
70% of participants had better sleep and 66% had more energy.
65% of participants had generally improved health.
There are a number of other activities you could reduce during the later part of the challenge to save money.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and as a result, my alcohol consumption fell off a cliff. This helped me significantly when I completed the Martingale Money-Saving Method.
Try and find something that will work for you.
If you don’t segregate the money you save, there may be a temptation to spend. You should definitely consider a money pot in some form to prevent this from happening.
Perhaps somewhat counterintuitively I suggest spending a small amount of money before you begin the challenge. Purchasing a sealed savings pot of some sort dramatically reduces the ability to spend before the challenge is completed.
As a result, you will be much more likely to complete the Martingale Money-Saving method. Consequently, you can’t beat the feeling of opening up the container to be presented with £1378 in cold hard cash.
For those of you that are fans of Dave Ramsey ( the King of Financial Freedom), you may be aware of his ‘7 Baby Steps’ programme to become debt-free and build wealth.
Well, the first of these 7 steps is to save $1000 towards a starter emergency fund.
The Martingale Money-Saving Method smashes this target right out of the park and takes just one year to complete.
Therefore, if you don’t have any plans for a lavish holiday or a new tattoo, then this is a great opportunity. You could be well on your way to completing Dave Ramsey’s ‘7 Baby Steps’ towards a better financial future.
I managed to complete this challenge and was immensely pleased with the results. The sense of achievement in saving £1378 over the course of a year is fantastic.
Also, the challenge really is workable, as long as you do some forward planning.
Make sure you choose an appropriate start date, as this will help to avoid Christmas, where saving more is often at its hardest.
Finally, having a dedicated saving apparatus is the perfect way to avoid temptation. You don’t want to dip into the pot before the challenge is completed.
If you follow these guidelines, then you could be just 1 year away from £1378.
Please share and let me know how you’ll get on with the Martingale Money-Saving Method.